VIDEO: Improved Treatment Time for Windsor-Essex Stroke Patients

There's been a dramatic improvement in treatment times for stroke victims in Windsor-Essex.

Windsor Regional Hospital is reporting the 'door-to-needle' time for stroke patients has been nearly cut in half in just two years, from 95 minutes to 49 minutes.

'Door-to-needle' time measures the time it takes a patient arriving in the emergency department after having a stroke, to receive clot-busting medication that can prevent brain damage and increase the patient's chance of full recovery.

The Manager of the District Stroke Centre at Windsor Regional Hospital, Denise St. Louis, says every second counts.

"Every minute it takes to get blood circulating back to the brain, you can lose up to 2-million brain cells, so we need to get the patient to the hospital quicker so we can expedite this treatment," she says.

St. Louis says improved communication is key for the reduction in 'door-to-needle' time.  Paramedics are in touch with the hospital before they arrive at the emergency room.

"Paramedics are notifying the neurologist directly when they pick-up the patient and that's been key because the neurologist is the treating physician, so that they can get the system activated quicker," she says.

St. Louis credits the improved times on hard work by a dedicated team.

"Our paramedics, our neurologists, our emergency room team, our diagnostic imaging team, it's very rewarding to work with a team that is so dedicated and looking forward to continuing to improve on that work," she says.

 

In 2018, Windsor Regional Hospital saw 1,435 potential stroke cases. 64% were from the city of Windsor while 36% were from across Essex County.